The Pope (then Card. Ratzinger) celebrating Holy Week in the "Old" Rite.
I can't really imagine a lot of priests wanting to say the "Old" Mass but I do think that priests like me, and the younger generation of priests, who have never celebrated it need the presence of this form of the rite to know from where our tradition comes.
The Pope has said repeatedly that "New" Mass sprang "ex nihil" from a post-Vatican II commission of "experts", see his book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”. Ecumenically, the criticism of the Eastern Churches is that we have dispensed with our tradition. I remember a conversation with an Orthodox priest who when I suggested he should become a Catholic, after over half a bottle of Ouzo had disappeared, asked, “How could any Orthodox come into communion with the Bishop of Rome when he assumes the power to remove 2000 years of tradition from the Church with a stroke of a pen”. Pope Benedict when taking possession of the Cathedral of the Lateran said that the Pope was not there put to forward his own views but to re-present the Church’s Tradition.
What the Pope tried to do (as Cardinal Ratzinger) both in his writings and speeches, as well as his actions was to give the “New” Mass roots. It is after all the “Old” Mass that is the root of the “New”, not a something which springs from the Protestant Tradition, thus even in the introduction to the Missal it is Gregorian Chant and Polyphony that are the norm for music in the liturgy not “Hymns Ancient and Modern” or the latest thing published by Mayhew or McCrimmond, it is certainly not the charismatic “Worship Service”.
The “Old” Mass teaches us that the liturgy is an act of worship and not a didactic exercise; the priest is the one who offers prayer and intercedes on behalf of the people, rather than a mere “worship leader”. I do believe that the “Old” Mass is necessary to remind us of the Churches continuity from the time of Christ through the subsequent two millennia to the present day. In the eighties I remember preaching about the Real Presence, frequent Confession and the importance of Marian devotion and being told by a sister, “that is just so pre-Vatican II”, she is now married and the New Movements use these things as the basis of their life and growth. During that time it was as if the Church had reset the clock to year zero and in the seminaries a theology of rupture and discontinuity was so prevalent. I used to keep my Ratzinger books in brown paper covers!